Despite the fact that summer doesn’t technically start until June 21, many people consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of the season. Many of us will celebrate by gathering with friends, firing up the grill, and catching some rays over the long weekend.
It’s also an important time to become present to the meaning behind this holiday’s name.
The “first ever” Memorial Day was May 30, 1868. Union General John A. Logan declared it an occasion to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. By the late 1880s, the day was officially named “Memorial Day.” It actually wasn’t declared a federal holiday until 1971. These days, it’s always observed on the last Monday of May.
The day is an opportunity to pause and honor the men and women who perished fighting for our country and for our freedom. They served with immeasurable bravery and selflessness – a debt that can never be repaid. And so, we visit their graveyards and war monuments. We bow our heads as our President lays wreathes on soldiers’ graves in Arlington National Cemetery. We gather together with our fellow citizens at parades and other Memorial Day celebrations in our cities and towns across the country. We fly our flags at half-staff.
These are the things that we do, because nothing can ever come close to sufficiently thanking and honoring these heroes and their families.
Many amazing veterans have been or currently are members at The Ivey. It is a great privilege to serve them and to care for them each day. Together with them, we also pause in deepest gratitude for the sacrifice made by their fallen brothers and sisters.
With an abundance of love and appreciation, I hope you enjoy your weekend, enjoy your family and friends, and enjoy the liberty that these remarkable Americans have made possible for us.